The Problem of Tribal Identity

“Tribalism” has become something of a buzzword in my section of the blogosphere. It plays a part in religion as well as politics. Many of us are indoctrinated in grade school to having “team spirit” for the local sports teams. I got over that last one around middle school and rolled my eyes during mandatory pep rallies. I’m not a sports fan, so why should I care about the school’s football team?

I’m not proposing solutions to tribalism, but offering some of my perspective while looking for discussion.

Continue reading

The Problem of “Punishing” Belief

One common thread in many religions, and especially visible among the fundie Christians I encounter online, is the idea that wrong belief (or lack of belief) itself is punishable and that their god(s) are justified in punishing non-believers. This has always struck me as an immoral idea.

Continue reading

Whatever Happened to the Twoofers?

It’s been a while since I’ve encountered a 9/11 twoofer. If you’re a newcomer to the topic, they’re people who believe 9/11 was an inside job. Beyond that agreement, there’s a lot of divergence among them. I’ve met twoofers who believe hypotheses from a “mundane” controlled demolition that secret agents somehow set up without being detected in continuously operated buildings all the way to the more transparently loony ideas like what I like to call “The R-9 Orbital Wave Cannon” because I had been playing R-Type Final around the time I was reading some twoofer threads and skeptical takedowns at the JREF Forums.

Continue reading

Doggerel #7: “You’re Just an Anonymous Blogger!”

Welcome back to “Doggerel,” where I discuss words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

One thing that commonly irritates me is the abuse of identity inherent in a lot of irrational worldviews. Humans have some inherent authoritarian, hierarchical biases. It’s not hard to understand in our more primitive days why a child’s obedience to his parents would provide a survival advantage. The same thing is true for a tribe member obeying the generally more experienced leader. On an instinctive level, it’s understandable that if someone tells you you’re wrong about something, you would demand to know who they are so that you can establish their position within the hierarchy and presumably their trustworthiness.

Continue reading

Doggerel Suggestions, Anyone?

Sorry I’ve been quiet for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been busy with the fleshy side of my life, and thus neglected teh internets side.

For the fans of the original Doggerel Index, I’m doing a bit of reorganizing, and I’ve decided to put some of the more “elemental” doggerel entries at the top of the list. There’s plenty of variety in the subject, but a lot of them can be boiled down to some general bad ideas that can become the foundation for specific bad ideas. Let me know what you think deserves a place up front. I’m thinking about making #7 “You’re Just an Anonymous Blogger!” to cover how a lot of trolls use that ad hominem, though one version is a cry of “Shill!” It’ll also cover a bit about why I choose to blog under a pseudonym.

Of course, if you’d like me to write posts about anything else, let me know. I’m thinking about randomly picking out another Bruce Lipton article to dissect, since I get the feeling he’s got plenty of silly ideas.